Creepy Halloween Plants


Creepy Halloween Plants

In the spirit of Halloween, I googled “creepy plants.” One of the best articles I found was entitled “10 Creepy Plants That Shouldn’t Exist” ( As the article itself contains some language and images inappropriate for children, and because some of you might simply prefer to look at the pics now, without clicking on a link, I’ve whipped up my own, slightly shorter but more family-oriented, and somewhat educational list.  

Bleeding Tooth Fungus  

bleeding tooth fungus

Found primarily in North America and Europe, this inedible fungus is a mycorrhizal species, forming mutually beneficial relationships with a variety of surrounding trees. The “bleeding” only occurs when the fungus is young, with the fruit becoming brown and boring as it ages. The pigment in the red juice is known to have anticoagulant properties.  

Chinese Black Batflower

 chinese bat flower

With flowers that can reach up to 12 inches across (and whiskers that can grow up to 28 inches!), these plants are related to yams (weird)! For those of you interested in growing your own for next Halloween, Wikipedia says “They grow best in well-drained soil and high humidity but are hardy down to -3C.”  

Doll’s Eye

 dolls eyes

 Found in the hardwood and mixed forests of eastern North America, the entirety of this plant is POISONOUS (making it even creepier). The toxins in the berries have a sedative effect on the cardiac muscle tissue of humans, meaning it can make you have a heart attack. For those of you who like Batman, this plant is also called a White Baneberry.  

Sea Anemone Mushroom/Octopus Stinkhorn

sea anemone octopus stinkhorn


Native to Australia, these two different, but related, fungi let off a decaying flesh smell that attracts flies in order to spread their gleba (a solid mass of spores). As if the creepy shapes weren’t bad enough.  

Devil's Claw

 devils claw

The seedpods of this plant are the scary part. These things, which can apparently be as big as your hand, are designed to hook onto the feet of passing animals (or humans) so they get carried to far-off destinations before being crushed to release the seeds.  

Porcupine Tomato

 porcupine tomato

While it is a cousin to a tomato, this TOXIC plant is actually an evergreen shrub that is native to tropical Madagascar and islands of the western Indian Ocean. The strong, straight fluorescent orange thorns that grow on the stems and leaves of the plant give it the menacing appearance.  

Cedar-Apple Rust Fungus

cedar apple rust fungus 

Dry fungus ball with telial horns  



cedar apple rust fungus

         Wet, gelatinous telial horns  

This fungus is a heteroecious (meaning it requires at least two hosts to complete its life cycle) parasite that alternates between juniper trees and apple trees (or relatives of apples such as pears, quinces, and hawthorns). On the juniper (primary) host, the fungus forms a ball, then produces tentacle-like spore tubes called telial horns. When these horns get wet, they expand and have a jelly-like consistency. When the spores are released from the telial horns, they travel on the wind until they can infect a secondary host (apple tree, pear tree, etc.). Gross!!!  
Buddha’s Hand
 budhas hand
A citrus fruit popular in China and Japan, this thing has a thick peel and a small amount of acidic flesh. To make it worse, it grows on trees that have thorny branches. When used as an offering to Buddha, it is said that a closed, elongated “hand” is preferred to an open, palm-exposed “hand.” I wouldn’t want it either way.

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  • Rogue Staff
Comments 2
  • roguehydro

    I’m not sure about all of them but most require specific climates to grow in. For example, the bat flower requires lots of shade and temperature cannot go below 40 degrees and Buddha’s hand also must be kept out of cold weather and hot weather. You may have a hard time locating the plants to grow too!

  • Inna

    wow, these look amazing! Are these adaptable to grow in any climate?

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